Individuals seeking fuller lashes have a number of ways to make their natural lashes thicker, longer, and more prominent. From eyelash enhancement serums to extensions, eyelash enhancements have come a long way from the false eyelashes of decades past. Plastic surgeons even offer eyelash implants, wherein hair follicles are transplanted from other locations to provide thicker lashes.
- Eyelash Enhancement Methods
- Eyelash Hair Implants
- Eyelash Extensions
- Eyelash Lift
- Eyelash Enhancement Tattoos
- Before & After
- Additional Solutions
Longer eyelashes aren't just symbolic of youth and beauty. Lush lashes also serve to protect the sensitive surfaces of the eyes from dust and debris. Years ago, people who desired longer, fuller lashes mainly relied upon false lashes to fulfill their needs. These days, more permanent makeup options exist, including long lasting eyelash enhancement tattoos. Additionally, there are eye creams containing bimatoprost, a solution that was originally designed to treat certain medical conditions related to the eye but was also discovered as a way to extend the eyelash growth phase as well.
Eyelash Enhancement Methods
Those who suffer with missing, short, or damaged eyelashes due to the incorrect application of eyelash extensions, or from too much lash manipulation might want long term methods of gaining lusher and darker lashes. Beyond using a daily mascara touch-up or the periodic wearing of false lashes to fill in their sparse eyelashes, users can try the following techniques representing more permanent eyelash enhancements.
Latisse works via an active ingredient called bimatoprost, which is thought to lengthen the active growth phase of the eyelashes, although it isn't clear how Latisse exactly performs. Lumigan is the name of the bimatoprost ophthalmic solution that was originally used as an eyedrop treatment for glaucoma patients to lessen eye pressure.
Patients who used the solution for its medical uses also saw an improvement in their eyelashes, which led to the re-branding strategy for eyelashes. After the FDA approved the use of Latisse in December 2008, to help thin and short eyelashes appear darker, longer, and fuller, Allergan brought Latisse to the public as a lash enhancer.
How to Use Latisse Latisse can be applied to the clean lash line of the upper eyelashes after users put one drop of the solution onto a sterile applicator. Contact lenses and cosmetics should be removed before the application of Latisse. Any skin care products such as moisturizers that are part of your evening ritual should be applied prior to using Latisse.
The ointment should then be drawn across the upper lash line, from the corner closest to the bridge of the nose outward. Latisse users should be careful not to drip the solution in other areas of the eye, face, chin, or even the lower lid, in order to prevent hair growth in undesirable areas. A new applicator should be used for each eye, and after using any tools once, they should be discarded.
Left on overnight, Latisse works as the wearer sleeps, allowing the individual to wash the face and apply eye makeup as usual the next morning. Upon applying Latisse the following evening, a sterile applicator should be used to prevent the spread of bacteria.
How Often to Apply Latisse to the Eyelashes When first using the eyelash enhancer, Latisse should be applied every evening for 12 to 16 weeks. After that point, users can switch to applying Latisse three or four times per week in order to maintain their thicker and longer lashes going forward. Although certain consumers tout the off-label use of Latisse in order to enhance their eyebrows, the FDA has not approved Latisse for such use.
Ideal Candidates for Latisse Latisse is recommended for use by anyone with sparse and stubby eyelashes who wants fuller and longer lashes. The enhanced look of long eyelashes and eyelash growth should last for as long as the patient uses the product. Upon ceasing use of Latisse, the thicker lashes may eventually revert to their previous state. Anyone who already uses Lumigan or other products containing a bimatoprost ophthalmic solution or products designed to have an effect upon elevated intraocular pressure should first speak with their doctor prior to using Latisse.
Latisse Side Effects
Side effects like itching and redness are the most commonly reported by Latisse users. Eye dryness, irritation and skin darkening have been reported. Latisse should be used only on the upper eyelid region at the base of the eyelashes to prevent unwanted hair growth in unintended areas. People with light-colored irises should be aware of the risk of Latisse darkening their eye color.
Eyelash Enhancement Method #2: Eyelash Implants or Eyelash Hair Transfer
Hair transplants are often used to move vibrant hair follicles from the back of the head to other parts of the head that are balding or thin. The same hair transplantation methods can be used to extract healthy hair buds from a donor site and transplant them into thin areas of the eyelashes in an eyelash hair transplant procedure.
#2: Eyelash Hair Implants
Similar to standard hair transplant procedures, eyelash hair implants begin with the surgeon extracting hair follicles by using either the "strip surgery" method of harvesting known as follicular unit transportation (FUT) or the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method. Whereas the FUT method features incisions being made as a portion of the scalp and hair bulbs are extracted, the FUE method extracts follicles in smaller groups, without incisions.
What to Expect During Eyelash Hair Implants After extracting hair follicles from another area, the surgeon places the grafts in the upper eyelid region on an individual hair basis, threaded via a curved needle. According to Dr. Alan Bauman of the Bauman Medical Group, eyelash transplantation is an outpatient procedure that provides longer and thicker lashes that live and grow in the eyelids like normal lashes.
Choose an experienced surgeon familiar with eyelash transplant procedures, who knows how to control the direction of the implanted eyelash growth, curl pattern, and orientation. The eyelash transplantation procedure will take approximately one hour for each eyelid. Local anesthesia is used, with sedated patients remaining awake.
The “double-implantation” method lets patients receive denser and thicker lashes. Dr. Bauman explained that double implantation involves implanting two hair follicles in order to double the amount of eyelashes implanted each session.
Ideal Candidates for Eyelash Transplants Patients who are generally healthy with functioning eyelids may make good candidates for an eyelash hair transplant. Those who suffer from the permanent loss of their eyelashes called "eyelash gap," due to injuries, cancer treatments, or eyelid surgery may find success with eyelash transplantation.
#3: Eyelash Extensions
Eyelash extensions can increase the length and density of natural eyelashes by attaching hairs to them. These hairs are often made of synthetic or silk substances, or materials such as mink, sable, and horse hair.
What to Expect When Receiving Eyelash Extensions During your appointment, the technician should first cleanse your eyes of all cosmetics, oils, and dirt in order to help the eyelash extensions adhere to your own eyelashes and to prevent infections. Your lower eyelashes are generally taped down so that as eyelash extensions are applied to the upper eyelashes, there is no interference. Next, the individual lash extensions are usually adhered one at a time using a glue or adhesive to secure the individual lashes near the root of the natural lashes.
Ideal Candidates for Eyelash Extensions
Eyelash extensions might be a good choice for any healthy person who has enough of their own natural lashes upon which extensions can be adhered, including people who don't suffer from severe alopecia and aren't allergic to the lash adhesive. Other good candidates include those who do not often rub their eyes or yank at their natural eyelashes, or the extensions, which could cause them to fall out.
#4: Lash Lift
Lash lifts are performed when a "perm" solution lifts and sets the natural lashes into a curly pattern against a rod, similar to the way that curly perms add a curlier pattern to those who seek a semi-permanent curled appearance to their hair.
What to Expect During a Lash Lift Procedure The upper lids and eye area will be cleansed prior to the lash lift procedure. Then the lower eyelashes are protected using moist cotton pads beneath the lower water line, prior to eyelash adhesive being applied to the eyelids. When the eyelash glue is exposed to the air for a period of time and the texture becomes tackier, a gel roller is affixed to the eyelashes when the technician gently sweeps them upward onto the rod.
The rollers are available in different sizes in order to create a variety of curl patterns. The customer can select the desired curl pattern, which will be set once the perm solution is painted onto the lashes. The cream formula activates the curl pattern, and is removed once the lashes have been curled appropriately. A solution that neutralizes the curling formula is placed upon the eyelashes before they are removed from the rollers.
Ideal Candidates for Lash Lifts Any person who likes how thick and long their natural lashes appear but still desire a semi-permanent curled look for their lashes might be a good candidate for a lash lift, since the process does not add length to the eyelashes. Those who are not receiving chemotherapy, along with people who aren't allergic to the lash lift solutions or any keratin treatment that might be used in the wake of the lash lift could be recommended for the treatment.
#5: Lash Enhancement Tattoos
Lash enhancement tattoos involve tattooing the lash line with a European tool named Nouveau Contour. Piret Aava, known as "The Eyebrow Doctor" on Instagram, creates eyelash enhancement tattoos by employing the use of a light needle after numbing the eye area. While she noted that eyelash henna can last up to 6 weeks for those seeking darker lashes, Aava also wrote in 2016 about eyelash enhancement, describing it as "thin eyeliner tattoo right on your lash line."
The thin black line of ink along the lower or upper lashes creates the look of permanent eyeliner, however, in a natural way upon the lash line, which enhances the eyelashes. The micropigmentation used for eyelash enhancement tattoos creates a fill-in for gaps amid the eyelashes, making them appear darker and fuller.
The Cost of Eyelash Enhancements
The cost of Latisse can be priced as low as $120 for a 30-day supply found in a 3mL bottle, which is accompanied by approximately 60 applicators. The cost of Latisse rises to $180 for a 5mL bottle, with 140 applicators. The Brilliant Distinctions® program by Allergan®, who owns Latisse and Botox, can provide discounts on the products via a reward program. Customers can gain $10 for each set of 100 points that are accrued via the program.
Eyelash hair implants can range in cost from $4,000 to $4,500, based upon the method of hair transplantation used and the number of grafts required. Eyelash extensions are less expensive than more permanent procedures, but also require the upkeep that more temporary treatments necessitate. Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $300 for eyelash extensions per session. Similar, the lash lift procedure may cost from $75 to $150 per treatment.
Eyelash enhancement tattoos cost from $400 to $800 for the semi-permanent procedure, but may last as long as three to five years after any initial touch-ups are performed in the first 4 to 6 weeks of treatments.
Recovery from Eyelash Enhancements
Certain eyelash enhancements don't require much of a recovery period, such as recovery from Latisse. The solution simply requires a nighttime application ritual that doesn't cause users to experience any downtime.
Eyelash transplant procedures can include longer recovery times, based upon the method used to extract hair from the donor area. If an eyelash transplant is performed by gaining hair via the "strip surgery" FUT method, patients will have sutures and an incision in the rear of their head that takes time to heal. A return trip to the doctor might be necessary after 10 days, in order to remove staples and non-dissolvable stitches. The FUE method of hair transplantation takes less recovery time, but patients are advised to treat their newly-transplant hair follicles with care for the first 7 days, to sleep with their heads elevated, and to avoid rubbing the eyes.
Dr. Bauman notes that many eyelash transplantation patients may experience a small amount of discomfort but feel comfortable enough to make shopping trips the same day of their procedures. After 3 to 5 days, eyelash transplant patients may return to work and other normal activities, since any pinkness and swelling should have faded away from the eyes. The new hairs will fall away after 14 days, but the hair follicles will remain, causing the new eyelashes to keep growing for the rest of the person's lifetime. The transplanted eyelashes will continue to grow to long lengths that require trimming and curling as the wearer desires.
Recovery from eyelash extensions is minimal. Patients are advised to arrive at their appointments not wearing eye makeup and contact lenses, with expectations to spend one or two hours or more receiving the extensions. Most normal activities can be resumed immediately, with the specific hair growth cycle dictating if the enhanced eyelashes will last from 3 to 5 weeks or more. Patients may experience redness, itching, or dermatitis, and are advised to refrain from washing their eye area right away or using oil-based eye products.
The recovery period of a lash lift may include red or itchy eyes. During the first 24 hours, steam rooms, saunas, and tanning beds should be avoided. Individuals should sleep on their backs the first night. Patients are advised not to get their lashes wet during the 48-hour segment of time after their lash lift. After 48 hours, lash lift patients can use a gentle cleanser to stroke the eyelashes in an upward direction.
After getting lash extensions, a spoolie eyelash brush can be used for daily maintenance, but patients should avoid using waterproof mascara, eyelash curlers, eye-makeup that is oil-based, along with eye-makeup remover. Only professionals should remove the extensions in order to save your natural lashes.
Before & After Eyelash Enhancements
After the 12 to 16 week initial period of using Latisse each night has elapsed, patients must continue to use the product several evenings per week in order to maintain their results. Those who seek more permanent solutions such as an eyelash hair transplant procedure are no longer required to use Latisse or other products to maintain their transplanted eyelashes.
After eyelash extensions, patients can decide to have any eyelash extensions that have fallen out replaced during their "fill-in" follow-up appointments. If the decision is made to remove the extensions, an experienced technician familiar with eyelash extension removal should be sought out, in order to minimize damage to your natural lashes. Eyelash growth should return to its normal growth cycles in the wake of damaged lashes, as long as the damage isn't severe or permanent.
Lash lift results should be apparent for two or three months after treatment, based upon the patient's hair growth cycle. After that point in time, patients can seek additional lifts for enhanced eyelashes, with little to no recovery time involved. As long as there are no allergies or bad side effects from the lash lift, beyond any minor redness and eye itching, follow-up treatments for additional lash lifts can be made.
Eyelash tattoo treatments, on the other hand, are similar to microblading eyebrow techniques in terms of upkeep and long lasting endurance. The touch-up period lasts for approximately four to six weeks, following a two-step tattoo process. After the touch-ups are completed, the eyelash tattoo enhancements may last as long as 3 to 5 years.
Prior to eyelash transplantation, patients are advised to quit taking any medications like aspirin or supplements that can thin the blood. Advil and ibuprofen can pose a larger risk for swelling and bruising. Eyelash transplant patients are also advised not to drink any alcohol prior to the procedure, which will feature local sedation. The cessation of smoking one week before and after transplantation is recommended.
Eyelash transplant patients can speak to their doctors about the optimal number of grafts they desire, with 100 eyelashes transplanted to each eyelid in one transplant session being a possibility. Customers are advised to have patience in the wake of their treatments, because it may take several months to witness new eyelash growth, after the initial round of eyelashes fall out. However, as the eyelash hairs grow back when the resting phase of the hair growth cycle ends, they can grow very long and must be groomed. Eyelash transplant treatments come with potential side effects such as itching, bleeding, cysts, infection, and swelling.
Additional Eyelash Solutions
Beyond the above mentioned eyelash enhancements are several other popular or new lash solutions that purport to enhance the look of lashes.
RapidLash is described as a solution that contains six ingredients that nourish the lashes and eyebrows to make them appear more youthful and healthier. neuLASH® is a serum for the eyelashes and the eyebrows, created by Skin Research Laboratories. Available at Nordstrom from $95 to $150, the serum contains nutrients such as biotin, sea water, and soybean oil to condition the eyelashes and offer additional benefits.
The SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer is called a cutting-edge lash enhancer that provides fuller-looking lashes. The SmartFX Smartlash Advanced formula currently sells for $71.50 on Amazon, with claims that the ingredients are sans hormones, and therefore no side effects accompany the formulation. The Derm Store lists the price of The Original SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer (0.16 oz.) at $29.95, with the key ingredients listed as biotin, peptides, and panthenol.
The Marini Lash Eyelash Conditioner is listed at $60 for a two-month supply of the formula, which contains cinnamon bark extract, folic acid, panthenol, and other ingredients. RevitaLash® Cosmetics sells the popular lash enhancer for $98 for a three-month supply of their eyelash conditioner, developed by an ophthalmologist.
Other former products, such as the City Lash Eyelash Enhancer and the Obagi ELASTILash Eyelash Solution are listed as either discontinued or currently unavailable online. Therefore, ensure you perform due diligence research and seek advice from a licensed professional when selecting an eyelash enhancement solution.